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News

Street crack-sealing project begins Monday, May 4

The City of Los Altos is beginning a city-wide street crack-sealing project on Monday (May 4).

City officials said the traffic impact for this project will be minimal. No streets will be closed and vehicles can resume normal traffic flow shortly aft...

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Schools

Homestead students use projects  to solve environmental problems

Homestead students use projects to solve environmental problems


Alisha Parikh/Special to the Town Crier
Homestead High School junior Maya Dhar, a Los Altos resident, left, and classmate Carolyn MacDonald support the school’s AP Environmental Science classes at the Arbor Day Festival April 23.

As summer app...

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Community

CHAC appoints new leader

CHAC appoints new leader

Naomi Nakano-Matsumoto, LCSW, has been named the new executive director of the Community Health Awareness Council (CHAC). A seasoned nonprofit leader, Nakano-Matsumoto is scheduled to assume duties July 1. She takes over for outgoing executive direct...

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Sports

St. Francis swimmers shine

St. Francis swimmers shine


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Benjamin Ho competes against Sacred Heart Cathedral Thursday. The junior swam on all three victorious relays at the home meet, which the Lancers won easily.

Flexing its power in the pool, host St....

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Comment

Halsey House deserves preservation: Other Voices

Halsey House deserves preservation: Other Voices


Many contributing supporters to the Friends of Historic Redwood Grove believe that the Halsey House, designated a historic landmark by the Los Altos City Council in 1981, deserves to be saved and renovated for adapted use by the community.

Set in ...

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Special Sections

Sneaky shots: A photographer’s guide to capturing the proposal

Sneaky shots: A photographer’s guide to capturing the proposal


Elliott Burr/Special to the Town Crier
A stealthy photographer scouts locations ahead of time to find not just a place to perch, but also the ideal position for the subjects.

It’s showtime.

You’re about to ask the person in front of...

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Business

Pharmaca celebrates grand opening over weekend

Pharmaca celebrates grand opening over weekend


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Pharmaca is coming to 400 Main St. with a grand-opening celebration scheduled Saturday and Sunday.

If natural health and beauty products are your cup of tea, expect to find them – and hot tea – this weekend at the gran...

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Books

People

JANE BUTTERFIELD PRINGLE LYND

JANE BUTTERFIELD PRINGLE LYND

October 30, 1924 - April 8, 2015

Jane Butterfield Pringle Lynd, daughter to Liebert and Elise Butterfield of San Francisco, passed away quietly at her home in Palo Alto surrounded by her family, following a short illness. Jane was a proud third ge...

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Travel

Cuba libre: Local residents join mad rush of travelers

Cuba libre: Local residents join mad rush of travelers


Natalie Elefant/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident Natalie Elefant noted the vibrant street performances as a traveler in Cuba.

The U.S. restored diplomatic relations with Cuba late last year, enabling Americans to import $100 worth of cig...

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Stepping Out

'Birds' landing in Mtn. View

'Birds' landing in Mtn. View


Ray Renati/Special to the Town Crier
The Pear Avenue Theatre production of Paul Braverman’s “Birds of a Feather” stars Troy Johnson as mafia boss Sean Kineen, left, and Diane Tasca as private eye Frankie Payne.

Pear Avenue Theatre’s world premi...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon


tanya kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Shrub manzanitas are known for their sinuous mahogany trunks and branches. If the foliage hides the bark, prune selectively to open the center so that the bark is visible year-round. This Montara manzanita is ...

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Inside Mountain View

Up to the challenge: Local leaders unite to help at-risk youth

Up to the challenge: Local leaders unite to help at-risk youth


Courtesy of Challenge Team
Jeanette Freiberg, bottom of pile, has fun with family members. The Challenge Team named Freiberg, a student at Mountain View High School, its 2015 Youth Champion.

There’s an ongoing joke among members of the Challenge...

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Fabric animates interior design


Courtesy of Viscusi Elson
Fabrics in window treatments and on sofas and pillows add color and texture to any room design.

As an interior designer, I have to admit that I have a fabric addiction. Fabrics can be colorful and vibrant, simple and monochromatic, patterned, striped, floral, woven, printed, jacquard, houndstooth - the choices are endless.

Fabric is one of the most powerful tools I use besides my imagination. Even if you reject window treatments, your home will have fabrics on the sofas, chairs, beds, etc. The right fabric can inspire an entire room and evoke an array of emotions. For that reason alone, it is important to pay attention and give value and time to your fabric selections.

Interior designers choose fabrics carefully to subdue, accent, enhance and/or make a design pop. Fabrics are as unique and individual as finely crafted wines, a special piece of art or that family photo that is perfect for that wall.

Finding fine fabric

A variety of places produce fabrics in a vast array of qualities with endless design possibilities. My favorite countries in which to shop for fabrics are Italy, France, England, India and the U.S.

European vendors are known for their bold use of color, patterns and combinations of the two, often pulling from historical events to re-create a modern version. The craftsmanship of hand embroidery from India is so amazing that European fabric vendors will mill the background fabric and send it to India to have the layer of embroidery applied. Vendors and artisans collaborate from various countries to offer the ideal culmination of design and quality.

Who devises all of these patterns, color combinations and prints? I have always had a vision of fabric designers sitting quietly drinking wine and giggling about the names they give their creations (like names of paint colors), but I learned on my visit to a few of the European fabric houses that it is a much more complex process than that. The artisans draw inspiration from the world around them, cleverly churning out patterns that continue to inspire.

Designers sketch the patterns on paper, then artists handcolor the design to convey the intended vision. Once sold, the buyer can choose to follow the artist’s vision on color or restyle it to fit a collection.

New designs continue to come, fresh colors are produced and timeless traditionals are milled to perfection.

Of course, most people think of sofas and chairs when talking about fabrics, but don’t forget the other opportunities to present your own style through the use of fabrics on pillows, draperies, wall coverings, bed coverings, headboards, bean bags, dog beds and more.

When you begin a home project, start with fabrics that inspire you. Draw inspiration from the lines, patterns and colors. Integrate the use of fabrics into your budget from the beginning and watch your space transform.

If you are interested in viewing and handling some lovely fabrics, stop by my studio in downtown Los Altos to see what’s new. If you are fabric-obsessed like me, you may want to make an appointment, because, as I said, the possibilities are endless.

Gina Viscusi Elson, owner of Viscusi Elson Interior Design and Rutt of Los Altos Custom Cabinetry, is an award-winning interior designer with more than 20 years’ experience. Her showroom is located at 147 Main St., Los Altos. For more information, call 941-7800 or visit veinteriordesign.com. n

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